Downtown Escapes – Decipher (Review)

Location: Goldsboro, NC

Players: 2-7 (We recommend 4-5)

Price: $25 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Oh yay handcuffs!


As members of a counter terrorism unit, you’ve tracked a new threat to an abandoned warehouse in Goldsboro, but as it always goes, it isn’t truly abandoned. You’ve mis-stepped somewhere, however since the doors slammed shut and the room filled with gas before you passed out. Unsure how long it has been since then, you awaken in a room, handcuffed and in the dark, with no clue as to how you got there, and no clear way out!

First Impressions:

As an aside, I really like the leaderboards that Downtown Escapes keeps. They’re very nice and include the “movie poster” like pictures for the two rooms. Did I also mention this was the last time we escaped using our old team name, Puzzvengers? I bring this up for no reason.


High Points:

It has become common for our team to be handcuffed and blindfolded together, but when done correctly (and safely,) it’s still a fun experience. The puzzles throughout the room are excellently put together and provide many fun interactions and puzzle types. Technological interactions are implemented seamlessly, providing ways for the room and the game flow to open up unexpectedly. One prop that has become fairly common and unexciting in rooms is much sleeker and well functioning than we have seen before, and is a welcome improvement. The gradual spatial shifts in the game as certain puzzles are solved is also a fun touch, and a good way to introduce an appropriate level of gating between stages of the game.

Low Points:

There were several moments in this room where having a tall person became a necessity. Fortunately, we have one such teammate, but this could create some problems for shorter teams, as I could barely reach some items and puzzles at 5’7’’. An unintentional red herring that confused us greatly could be eliminated with the addition of some slight gating to the puzzle flow.


Providing another non-linear experience and fantastic set design, Decipher is another room worthy of escaping! Definitely a more challenging experience than The Heist, enthusiasts will very much enjoy the game within, as well as some new takes on a couple favorite puzzle types. Try it out and attempt to beat our record here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Downtown Escapes comped our tickets for this room.

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